For Immediate Release - November 17, 2009

District Attorney Hosts Policymaker Event To Release New Prevention Initiatives

Continuing his strong efforts to address drug and alcohol abuse, the District Attorney invited two national prevention and law enforcement experts to speak to policymakers in Essex County and to introduce new prevention materials for students and their parents.

On Tuesday, November 10, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett welcomed Arnie Moorin, national Director of HIDTA, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Peggy Quigg, Director of Community Programs in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to speak to Essex County legislators, city and town officials, judges, police chiefs, school superintendents and community agencies. Both speakers addressed national trends and urged policymakers to view to the nation's drug problem as a public health issue.

Moorin maintained that the national drug policy must include not only law enforcement but programs focused on prevention, treatment and recovery, an understanding of drug addiction and an attack on drug cartels. Quigg echoed this sentiment: "Ultimately all drug problems are local and can only be solved locally. We are changing community norms and getting communities involved. It is not a law enforcement problem. That what this meeting here is all about."

The District Attorney also released two new programs to be distributed throughout Essex County:

The Truth About Drugs and Alcohol - A PowerPoint presentation designed to educate students about the serious impact drug and alcohol use can have on their lives, including social, physical, and legal consequences. Through the use of slides and videos, The Truth About Drugs and Alcohol program educates teens about alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs

101 Drugs: What Adults Need to Know - A PowerPoint presentation designed to inform parents and other adults about the issue of youth drug and alcohol use. Drugs 101 uses slides and videos of teens and adults to educate adults about drug use, including alcohol, inhalants, prescription drugs, and opiates.

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DA Blodgett with Arnie Moorin, National Director of HIDTA, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and Peggy K. Quigg, Director of the Division of Community Programs, SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.